Epigenetics in Liver Fibrosis

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Abstract

Liver fibrosis is a common consequence of chronic liver injury and is a key determinant of liver-associated morbidity and mortality. Identification of new mechanisms of fibrosis, including disease-specific molecular drivers, remains relevant to reveal novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Recently, greater accessibility to more advanced molecular methods that can assess changes in epigenetic regulation has stimulated more research investigating the epigenetic landscape of liver fibrosis. Such studies have revealed changes in DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and microRNAs that regulate the fibrogenic response to injury including hepatic stellate cell activation. The aim of this review is to briefly introduce the general mechanisms and epigenetic regulation of liver fibrosis and to familiarize the reader with the chief epigenetic mechanisms implicated as drivers of liver fibrosis.

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